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A young city employee learned a costly lesson this week: Don't cross Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani when you're crossing the street.

David Vidal, 24, a college intern, was forced to resign when he flouted Giuliani's plan to keep pedestrians from blocking midtown Manhattan traffic.

"Nonsensical laws mean nothing to me," Vidal was quoted as saying in the New York Post after he walked around a police barrier to cross a street.

Giuliani's plan is to ease holiday gridlock in a tourist-packed city. Police barriers and signs bar pedestrians from using crosswalks at some of the busiest corners.

Deputy Mayor Randy Mastro read Vidals comments in Monday's Post and called acting Juvenile Justice Commissioner Alfred Reno, who asked the La Guardia College student to resign from his $5.50-an-hour internship.

Giuliani said Tuesday that Vidal lost his job because of "the arrogance he showed about respect for the law."

On Tuesday, about 30 people dressed like cows held a protest on Fifth Avenue to complain about the plan, which they say herds people like cattle.

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